Aug/97: Down with APEC - Down with BC Colonialism!


The following letter to the editor appeared in August's "Kahtou" magazine. Dear Editor;

I see that our so called leaders are meeting to choose a so called leader from amongst themselves. [S.I.S.I.S. - The Assembly of First Nations convention] Well, I wonder if they could take some time campaigning to consider an idea that dropped on me recently.

The history of First Nations dealings with the immigrant European and other cultures has not been mutually beneficial. The First Nations have barely survived. Many have not. My proposal is fairly simple, but would require immense commitment, endless hard work and the support of the people. If these things are impossible to achieve then stop reading because you're wasting your time and I've wasted mine writing this. If however, you believe that these things are achievable then please read on.

Vancouver is hosting the APEC conference this year. These are major investing and trading countries that Canada and BC are wooing as business partners. I believe it is in our best interest to send a clear message to these countries that BC and Canada are not open for business until the past injustices and present grievances with First Nations have been addressed.

This could be achieved by choosing one day during the conference to slow down the economic engines of BC. This display would prove our ability to do so, would get the undivided attention of many nations if not the world and would send the desired message. What better motivation for Canada and BC to settle outstanding grievances than to appease their offshore investors? In fact, if this action really puts a scare into the international investing community then Canada's bond rating could suffer and its dollar could fall as well.

As I said, none of this would be easy, but I think it could work. Something of this size and scope would require careful planning, exceptional organization and flawless execution. Is there a national leader out there who can provide these things or at least the vision, leadership and commitment to action? We shall see.

This is a brief outline of my vision. There is more. If you are interested in discussing any of this, give me a shout.

Norm Leech
Stl'atl'imx national residing in Sechelt territory

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